CATEGORIES Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Mystery & Suspense, IFC, Sony, New on DVD, 20th Century Fox, Cinematical Indie, DVDs, CinematicalWith DVD releases this week tilting heavily toward Halloween-friendly titles, it's harder to pick out non-horror indie fare, but Jindabyne appears to be the best bet. Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, Jindabyne examines a group of men on a fishing trip who find a dead body and then, rather than immediately contact the authorities, simply stow the body so they can finish their fishing. Lantana director Ray Lawrence's sophomore effort received mixed to positive response -- Rotten Tomatoes scored the reviews at 65% positive -- but Cinematical's Kim Voynar was entirely positive, calling it a "subtle and sublime film that peeks around the dark edges of the human heart and searches out the tendrils of light that hold us together." Sony Pictures' DVD includes deleted scenes and a "making of" feature.
In his review for Cinematical, Nick Schager wrote: "Day Night Day Night approaches suicide bombing from an abstract perspective, following a young, nameless, ethnically unidentifiable girl (Luisa Williams) as she prepares for, and then attempts to carry out, a mission to detonate an explosive device in Times Square." Nick felt that, despite Williams' fine performance, "the actress can't counteract an overriding sense of shameless manipulation, of post-9/11 anxieties being aggressively, methodically stoked in service of a thriller without purpose." Out of 40 reviews, Rotten Tomatoes rated 70% as positive. The DVD from IFC features an audio commentary by director Julia Loktev.
Civic Duty divided critics further, with the Rotten Tomatoes score standing at 56% positive. Peter Krause stars as a man who becomes suspicious of his Middle Eastern neighbor. Our own Ryan Stewart said: "The film, despite being at its heart a minor genre effort that latches onto a big issue for effect, still manages to keep us engaged with relatively tight scripting and actors who are committed to putting on a good show." The DVD is released by 20th Century Fox, but none of the DVD sites I checked have details on any additional features.